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Musical duo Seth and Nirva passionate about discipleship, unity

Seth and Nirva

NASHVILLE (BP) – For musical duo and married couple Seth and Nirva, music is one of several shared passions they use as an avenue to serve the church.

The two began their journey as music artists a few years after getting married, and their latest EP “On Earth” released in early June.

The duo told Baptist Press they hope the new record will uplift and equip believers.

“There’s a great responsibility that comes with writing songs for the Church,” Seth Ready said.

Musical duo Seth and Nirva sat down for an interview with Baptist Press in Nashvile. Photo by Timothy Cockes

“I think ultimately with our music it’s a dual aim. We want people to be drawn into the presence of God and experience Him, but we want that to be a starting point to pick up your armor and go from there.”

“I hope they (Christians) are encouraged, and touched in a certain way to remember to keep God central in these times,” Nirva Ready said.

Music is just one shared passion for the couple, who met and married after crossing paths singing vocals for acclaimed Christian artists TobyMac and Kirk Franklin.

Seth sang background vocals for Franklin, while Nirva was a part of TobyMac’s Diverse City Band for more than 17 years.

Nirva ended up auditioning for the band after coincidentally meeting TobyMac (Kevin McKeehan) on a flight shortly after graduating college.

Meanwhile, Seth had met singer Anthony Evans through a mutual connection, which eventually led to a connection with Franklin.

Seth grew up in central Florida, while Nirva grew up in urban Chicago as the daughter of Haitian immigrants. Yet the two bonded over their love for music, each having grown up listening to similar Southern Gospel music in their completely different contexts.

After marrying and several years of traveling and performing separately, the two decided to pursue making music together, releasing their debut full-length album “Never Alone” in 2016.

Their music collaboration has led to growth both individually and in their relationship.

“The most humility we ever have to clothe ourselves in is with each other in the studio,” Seth Ready said.

“I think we have learned where each other’s strengths are, and I defer to her often in those areas and she’ll defer to me where she feels like I’m strong. Some of our best times have been getting to do ministry together. I’m really grateful for that.”

In addition to music, the two share a desire to minister to young adults, promote a biblical worldview among Christians and build diversity and racial unity in the church.

For Nirva, the desire for racial unity largely stems from her time with the Diverse City Band. She said although discussions about unity in the church have increased over the past few years, it has always been a value of McKeehan.

“It (Diverse City Band) became something larger than life,” Nirva Ready said. “Toby had the vision even back then of uniting and bringing people together. Walks of life from different backgrounds, ethnic backgrounds, socioeconomic backgrounds, political backgrounds and they were this little melting pot. And his heart was to party for Jesus. The world parties, why can’t we get together and celebrate what Christ has done in our lives? Every night we would just leave it all on stage and just give all we had. It was a special time.”

Seth Ready had a somewhat similar experience with Franklin, who hired Ready because he was specifically searching for a white male to add to the tenor section of his band to create a more diverse group.

Ready added that although music can be a powerful way to unite different types of people, it’s important to unify around the right things.

“The pressure now is unity as a slogan and as an absolute,” Ready said. “There are some things that God actually says no you don’t unify, you come out from among that and you be distinct from that. There are some things that He actually separates and some things that He joins together. 

“The problem is I think Satan often uses music to join the things together that God wants separate and to separate the things that God wants together.”

Nirva now combines her passion for music with the couple’s passion for mentoring and discipling young adults, serving as assistant professor of commercial music/voice at Liberty University.

“I did not know that I would fall in love so much with teaching at Liberty,” Nirva said. “I think what I love most about it is just looking at a young person and seeing where they are and saying, ‘I was once there, here are some tools you’ll need if you’re going to make it out in this world.’

“My aim is to fortify their character, their souls, the mind of Christ in them, hoping that their Christianity covers all of their lives. I think something special happens when I see young people truly worship and chase God.”

Additionally, the couple has a passion for teaching and promoting a biblical worldview among Christians and launched a podcast in 2019 called the ‘Freemind Podcast’ in which they discuss cultural issues with various leading Christian figures.

“It’s been really interesting for us to kind of get to share our heart on these issues of biblical worldview, unity and biblical reconciliation,” Seth Ready said. “Part of our ministry has been to try to bring truth, strength and courage to people through our music.”

Nirva agrees.

“The power of music, specifically in the body of Christ, is so amazing because when we gather, we sing songs anthemically that proclaim what we believe,” she said.

“It unifies, it invigorates, it inspires us to remember who we are, whose we are, who we worship. And it also reminds us of what Christ has to say about what we’re walking through. To the body of Christ, music and the songs we sing play a major role in our discipleship. They play a role in proclaiming our identity, our God, our mission and our purpose.

“In this day and age, to be involved in a good, whole, healthy church is medicine for the soul. It’s worth it to have roots and to have a community you do life with.”